5,000 years ago, our ancient ancestors invented the first toothbrush. Initially made out of a twig with a frayed end, toothbrushes have evolved substantially since then, from bone, wood, and ivory to the nylon bristles that we experience today.
Since the adoption of nylon toothbrushes in 1938, the variety of toothbrushes available to patients has exploded in number and type. Today, most patients choose between a manual or electric toothbrush. The American Dental Association recommends that patients buy toothbrushes listed with the ADA seal, which are recommended by the association. The ADA Council on Scientific Affairs looks at the following factors to give its seal of acceptance:
- “All of the toothbrush components are safe for use in the mouth
- Bristles are free of sharp or jagged edges and endpoints
- The handle material is manufacturer-tested to show durability under normal use
- The bristles won’t fall out with normal use
- The toothbrush can be used without supervision by the average adult to provide a significant decrease in mild gum disease and plaque”
In general, toothbrushes should allow easy access to all areas of your mouth and have soft bristles with round tips so you don’t potentially harm your enamel.
Both electric and manual toothbrushes can provide you with the proper hygiene you need to keep your teeth healthy. Finally, make sure that you wash your toothbrush after each use and don’t place a cover on the brush, as the moist environment is perfect for bacterial organisms. Toothbrushes should be replaced every 3-4 months, or sooner if you notice the bristles starting to wear.
If you have any questions about your dental health or if you would like to schedule a free consultation, please contact our team or make an appointment. Our incredible staff will give you the best dental care possible.